Rosario Dawson

Everything Batman is still Awesome

Everything was awesome back when The Lego Movie hit theaters in 2014. When the announcement was first made that a movie was being made based on the Lego Brand, most were pretty skeptical. It wasn’t until the first reviews started coming out that people began to by in. Almost immediately it became a hit. It is a film that I truly believe was snubbed by the Academy Awards, not getting a nomination. Not only did The Lego Movie deserve a nomination, I contend that it deserved to win.

Off all the greatness that was The Lego Movie, one of the breakout characters was definitely Will Arnett’s Batman. He was incredible! Arguably one of the best on screen Batmen we have ever gotten! From Will Arnett’s voice work, down to the characters persona, he was a great. It didn’t take long for WB to announce The Lego Batman spinoff. This worried me. Was this character the way they wrote it able to carry his own film? Aside from the recent Nolan Films, and the original 1989 take on Batman, WB has had a bit of trouble getting The Batman to work. Well, The Lego Batman works. Works so well that it might be one of the best Batman films we have ever gotten.

The Lego Batman Movie is directed by Chris McKay, and written by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. It stars Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Rosario Dawson, and Ralph Fiennes. With Mariah Carey, Jenny Slate, Billy Dee Williams, Hector Elizondo, Conan O’Brian, Jason Mantzoukas, Doug Benson, Zoe Kravitz, Kate Micucci, Riki Lindhome, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Adam DeVine, Eddie Izzard, Seth Green, Jemaine Clement, Ellie Kemper, and Chris Hardwick.  Seriously, that is the cast list. Most of them have small one liners or so, but still one hell of a cast.

The film follows Arnett’s Batman as he is the loner hero in Gotham city. After he takes down and saves Gotham for the millionth time The Joker (Zalifianakis) realizes that Batman doesn’t appreciate their rivalry and decided he has to show Batman that he needs him. Thus sending Batman on a journey to come to peace with the fact that he is lonely, and he needs people in his life, and that he can’t do everything alone.

First off, the film does what The Lego Movie did so well by mixing a tremendous amount of heart with a fun ride.  They are almost on Pixar level with their emotions, not to the point that The Lego Movies are going to make you cry, but they definitely hit you with the feels. You can relate to the characters despite the outlandish and over the top attitudes and characterizations. The Story itself is a basic story, but they play it out so well that feels special and different.

On top of all the feels and emotions, this film is funny. I literally walked out, and my face was hurting from laughing and smiling so much. There are not a lot of downtimes in the film. They pretty much hit you hard with the jokes as the film begins, even before the studio logo’s even hit. Then they don’t really slow down. There may be a small stretch in the middle where the film kind of loses its footing drags for a moment, but it quickly catches itself back up and keeps hitting. It never ceases to be funny.

The animation is once again beautiful. I love this near stop motion look that Lego films are giving us. They use a lot of dark colors, seeing as Batman only deals in black and sometimes very very very dark grey. So with the colors they use for Batman, the Bat Cave, and Gotham city, they mix perfectly with the few bright colors that really pop as well. This animation is absolutely incredible!

Like I said this cast is absolutely incredible. Even as a few are just cameos and maybe one liners or so. But everyone fits their voice perfectly, and does a great job to bring these characters to life. Will Arnett has a great grasp on this characters voice. I hesitate to call him one of the best Batmen of time, but he does rival some of the greats. Galifianakis’ Joker is a very good Joker. Not up to the level of Mark Hamill, but still a good rendition of the clown prince of crime. Hearing Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill return for minor cameos as Superman and Green Lantern had me rolling, just having those two voice these guys is great.

As for negatives, like I said the film does have a little bit of a down time in the second act, it wasn’t too slow to really take you out, and they continued to hit you with jokes so it still flowed. While we are on the concept of the jokes, they are all hilarious, and for the most part completely hit. The Problem with the jokes are that they come so quick, so fast, that you are still laughing at 2 jokes before trying to catch up with the one you are on.

All in all The Lego Batman Movie is great! From the cast to the animation everything in this film is on point. They do a great job at poking fun of the history and lore of Batman. From BvS, to the Nolan Verse, to Schumacher and Adam West. There is even a brief joke about the 1940s Black and White serial. They even hit on the suicide squad and Marvel! The music is once again fun and catchy, not as catchy as Everything Is Awesome, but still great!

It’s a film that can hit all ages! Kids and adults alike. I gave it a score of 3.7, definitely one you are going to want to go out and see as soon as you can. I’d also give it a .5 bonus if I could for the jokes on the nostalgia as well as the awesome cameos! Great cast, great animation, all an all-around heartfelt joy to watch, that you’ll want to see over and over again, even if just to catch the jokes you missed! Are you excited for The Lego Batman Movie? Who is your favorite Batman? Sound off in the comments below! And remember, It Is What It Is!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

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The show without Fear: Marvel’s DareDevil

Marvel is pretty much running the show right now. Their cinematic universe is on the top of its game ready to roll out Phase III. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have improved incredibly since Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Agent Carter was an amazing miniseries. They just seem to know what they are doing. We have been waiting for the Netflix phase to get off the ground, and they have done it. The first of, what I will call, The Defenders Series’ has hit the ground running. Marvel’s DareDevil is here. DareDevil stars Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Toby Leonard Moore, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Bob Gunton, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent D’Onofrio as The Kingpin Wilson Fisk. Produced by Steven S. DeKnight and Drew Goodard and is based on the Marvel superhero of the same name. Word of warning, this review will not really have many actual Spoilers, but there may be minor details of the shows plot. SO if you want to know nothing about it before you see it, then stop reading. There will be a spoiler at the end that pertains to how a character is written, but I will mark it appropriately so you can skip that paragraph.

Marvel’s DareDevil tells the story of Marvel’s superhero by the same name. Matt Murdock is a lawyer who as a child was in an accident that causes him to lose his sight, but causes his remaining senses to function with near superhuman peak ability. Tired of seeing his city, Hell’s Kitchen, fall to criminals and dirt bags has decided to take up a quest as a vigilante. On the flip side. A near practical ghost of a business man, Wilson Fisk, has decided to rebuild the city, though while Murdock’s tactics are morally right, Fisk believes the means will justify the ends. Thus pitting the two on a collision course of mass repercussions.

I was very pleased with the casting. I was weary of Charlie Cox going in because I was not very familiar with his work. 2 episodes in and I realized he was perfect for the role. So perfect that I expect to see him in the films. I want to see Cox reprise this role in Civil War, and Infinity Gauntlet. I also would mind a S.H.I.E.L.D. cameo. Ann Woll is very functional and she grows as the series drives forward. I didn’t really like her at first but her character arc and her portrayal is great. A stand out star is Henson as Murdock’s law partner Foggy Nelson. Not just comic relief, but brings a lot of heart to the show. D’Onofrio is good in his roll. I have issues but I will get into that a little later.

Let’s talk positives. DareDevil is not like anything you have seen in the MCU. This is kind of a staple for Marvel. Each film has its own feel to it; this show takes its own identity too. It is dark, and gritty and violent. You haven’t ever seen this much violence from a Marvel property since the Blade series. It is the perfect change of pace. And speaking of, the pacing is great. It flows very well with right amount of vigilante/lawyering percentages. The story is very fluid. Filming for Netflix and being able to run everything at once lets them eliminate the “monster of the week” format that a lot of these shows can have, and lets them tell a more fluid singular story.

But I’m not just going to turn a blind eye. Remember, being a fan means being able to recognize problems. One of my issues is the character of Wilson Fisk. Kingpin is one of my all-time favorite villains. I have always enjoyed him. But to me he needed to be more intimidating then this makes him out to be. Again I don’t want to get too much into it right here, I will in a moment. Another issue I had was the lack of tie-ins to the MCU. There are a few references to New York, and The Avengers, but nothing that really made the connection strong. And honestly, that’s just about all I have for complaints. So I’m going to delve into the one thing I really found to be the main issue with show. This might have some SPOILERS! So if you don’t wish to know plot details you might want to skip the next paragraph.

SPOILERS! You have been warned. So I mentioned my issues with Wilson Fisk. That is nothing against Vincent D’Onofrio’s performance. He is great, he disappears into the role. The problem is the character himself. He is written nearly as a whiny little bitch. Through flashbacks, he is shown to have an abusive father and a poor childhood. I understand that the character along with DareDevil are two sides of the same coin. He is meant to be portrayed almost as an antihero. He wants what Murdoch wants, he just has questionable methods. Now as the season came to an end, I realized this something I hadn’t thought of. I had been thinking of this not as an origin story, but just jumping into this world. By the end you see this season is an origin. An origin of DareDevil, and for Kingpin. There is a scene when Fisk breaks out of police custody, and in that scene I saw the Kingpin I know and fear. My hopes are that in season 2, we get more of this Kingpin.

NO MORE SPOILERS! IT IS SAFE TO CONTINUE READING!

So in closing, I found DareDevil to be a great show. One that I hope will continue and mix in with the MCU for years to come. It has made me excited to see the rest of The Defenders series’ that will be coming out later this year and next. I gave Marvel’s DareDevil a score of 4.6, with a .4 bonus for its grounded, gritty dark undertones and fun action. Giving us a Jeebus Score of 5.0. So what say you Jackass Nation? Did you enjoy DareDevil? Have you binged on it like me? what else are you looking forward to from Marvel? Sound off in the comments.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

Sin City A Dame to Kill For

Sin City! A Dame to Kill For! The much anticipated sequel to 2005’s Sin City. After years in developmental hell, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller have finally brought us the follow up. What has now developed a cult classic following, Sin City was most of the most visually stunning films put out of all time, A Dame to Kill For had a lot to live up. The anticipation has built for 9 years, nearly a decade. The film reunites us with stars from the original including Mickey Rouke, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Powers Boothe, and Jaime King. Michael Clarke Duncan, Clive Owen, and Devon Aoki are replaced this go around by Dennis Haysbert, Josh Brolin, and Jaime Chung respectively. Rounding out the ensemble cast they are joined by Joesph Gordon-Levitt, Marton Csokas, Christopher Lloyd, Julia Garner, Juno Temple, Ray Liotta, Stacy Keach, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Lady Gaga, and Crystal McCahill.

A Dame to kill for follows three stories, the premier story is the title story, which follows Dwight (Brolin), as he is twisted and manipulated by Eva (Green). It is very heavy on Marv (Rouke) as he and Dwight team together to protect Eva while end up being roused into her twisted plot. This sequence in the film serves as a prequel to Sin City, explaining why it is that Dwight is played by Brolin, as opposed to Clive Owen. The other stories are sort of intertwining stories that take place after Sin City, making this part of the film a true sequel. They include “Just another Saturday night” that follows Marv after Sin City as he deals with Nancy(Alba) reuniting with Hartigan(Willis), “The Long Bad Night” that follows Johnny(JGL) as he gambles his way to the top of Sin City, and must deal with Consequences. And finally “Nancys Last Dance” that follows Nancy as she breaks down after the loss of Hartigan and joins Marv in a hunt to take down the man responsible, Senator Roark.

The film is very fun. It you were a fan of the first film, you are definitely going to be a fan of this installment. The visuals are epic and absolutely beautiful. It makes sense that they have taken their time to get this film out. The action sequences are beautifully shot and literally look like they are taken from the graphic novel pages. Frank Miller who we know thanks to The Spirit is a terrible director on his own, but when he teams with Rodriguez, these two can truly bring the fans what it is they want. These films are the best adaptations of graphic novels or comic books out there. Are the actors over acting? Yes, but it works for the film. Is the dialog cheesy? Yes but it feels like it was ripped from the graphic novel. It is what makes this film so much fun.

It’s not all perfect though. There are a few times as the story goes, mostly during A Dame to Kill For, that the film can drag. As well it is truly missing Michael Clark Duncan and Devon Aoki. Understandably having to recast Manute after the passing of Michael Clark Duncan, but Haysbert is just not the fit. And I don’t know why Aoki was recast with Chung, and all though she gives us more action, she doesn’t have the Look that Aoki had. Aki had that stone cold look to her that gave you a respect and fear for her character.

All in all it’s a great film. I scored it a Jeebus Score of 4.1, but then added a .4 bonus for a naked Eva Green, rounding us out to 4.5, a Good time at the theater.